Griffin Thomas Conlogue ’15 / Emertainment Monthly Staff
Matthew McConaughey is on quite a roll. After a huge 2012 where he received nominations for acting for Killer Joe, Bernie, and Magic Mike, he continues his series of strong performances in Jeff Nichols’ Mud. Expect McConaughey’s name to come up a lot during awards season, as this might just be the best performance of his career. Mud is both a riveting drama and coming of age story, masterfully blending the two.
The film tells the story of Arkansas teenagers Ellis and Neckbone, who discover a fugitive named Mud living on a small island. The two boys attempt to help Mud reunite with the love of his life, while simultaneously helping him avoid the authorities. The film has obvious inspiration from the works of Mark Twain. The film really feels as though it is written in the style of classic American literature. The standout acting from McConaughey as well as 14 year old breakout performer Tye Sheridan really help bring you into the world of Mud.
There is not much to complain about in the film. It is a quite slow paced film, which may turn of some people. I believe the slowed paced helps lend to the setting of the film and lets the audience focus more on the fantastic characters of the movie. It also plays it quite safe. Where films like Upstream Color and The Place Beyond the Pines have been overly ambitious, Mud is a pretty straightforward character drama.
Mud is arguably one of the best films released up to this point in 2013. Jeff Nichols is a director on the rise, and any film lover should keep an eye out for any film he comes out with in the future. The essence of southern America is captured so beautifully and accurately, and the characters are so believable and real. I would recommend this strongly to any film lover.
See this if:
You love character driven dramas and you’re a fan of classic American literature.
Don’t see this if:
You prefer action packed studio films over slow building indie dramas.